Being right with God brings peace and joy, not worry and stress
The separation of our Christian denominations seems to be jumping out to me pretty consistently here in these last few chapters. There seem to be so many things we can disagree about, so many little rules that divide us instead of having us be a united front that works together to further Christ’s kingdom. Almost none of these ‘little’ rules about what we should eat, or drink, or wear, or how you should worship, etc are an issue of salvation. They can distract us from the truth though, put into our minds- maybe even subconsciously- that we need to earn our place in heaven through the following of these rules. Or they may cause us to begin to ‘rank’ ourselves. “I am better than so-and-so so I must be ok with God.” We begin to worry about what we need to do next, what we need to fix all by ourselves to ensure our own goodness or our pedestal on which we can look down on others. Instead, we must all ensure that our own self is in right standing with God; accept the salvation His Son freely offers (which is the single thing we can do to claim our place in heaven), confess wrong doings, wrong attitudes, & commit to the path He has set before you. This path will be different from everyone else’s so we can’t judge them based on our calling. Most importantly, we must spend time with our Creator, our Lord, our Father. As we do, He will change us. We will become more like Him and any rules He wishes us to follow will begin to flow out of us naturally over time, not as something we have to do but as something we just do. They will flow from us out of love for our Father and love for His children. Peace and joy that cannot be stripped away will flood our hearts, make us bold and caring. Imagine the impact we could have, the things God could accomplish through His church if we would put aside our differences, get ourself (and only ourself) right with God, and unite around the core of our belief: That the Almighty God loves each one of us & that His Son died to save each and every person who would accept His gift. Imagine what a force we could be!